What’s the Big Deal About Gossip?


Gossip is *such* a double-edged sword.

When it comes to gossip you usually have two camps. The first being “gossip is horrible and never to be done.” The second being “ooooo guuurl tell me what sh*t happened last night.”

And then there are those of the second group who love to re-distribute their recently heard intel to everyone else, regardless of if the intel has been fact-checked and verified.

There are also others who love to start gossip; and sometimes, those people doen’t even need to see anything to get the gossip going.

It’s easy to demonize gossip and those who spread gossip but are those who demonize all who gossip right?

If you were to trust in religion and other forms of thinking that come from non-scientific origins then yes. Religious types and most who subscribe to “rules of thumb” or “common sense” thinking and tend to be all-or-nothing, tend to label all gossip as bad and nothing good can come out of it. (Even though when they talk to their friend about someone possibly being a child predator because so-and-so’s child got the bad touch from this person, this person is indeed gossiping. And something indeed good is coming out of that gossip. Oddly specific example, I know.)

However if you believe in science, then you may know that not all gossip is bad. For example, a 2012 study from University of California, Berkeley, suggests that gossip can help us “police bad behavior, prevent exploitation and lower stress.”

And in 2006, the American Psychological Association (APA) published an article about the “evolutionary past” of gossip and what that past means to us now.

“Natural selection, he theorizes, pressured people to learn as much as possible about the people in their social network-be they an authority figure, potential romantic partner, teacher, political ally or enemy. Knowing about other group members helped people eschew risky alliances, by informing them, for instance, which group member might double-cross them.

“In the process, gossiping also helped facilitate bonds by showing others we trust them enough to share information. …”

Read about the University of California, Berkeley study on the UC Berkeley News Center website. (Is it just me or does the article neglect to mention the title of the study?)

Read the APA story “Bonding over others’ business.”

The point isn’t to completely turn a blind eye to gossiping. Vicious, malicious rumor-mongering is never something to be praised. With that said, finding out indirectly that your buddy is hurting because of money or because a partner just left them or maybe even learning that that guy you’re dating has an issue with impulse control is not such a bad thing and might even be beneficial to your personal health and the health of your social community.


Is Your Baby Lame or an A**hole?

Earlier this week, I received a link from Technorati through Twitter. The link went to some pictures of babies dressed like Yoda with vile and shrewd commentary written underneath each photo. Turns out the website was Your Baby is an A**hole.

Funny Yoda Baby

"Yoda wears Jedi robes. What I see here is a midget in a lab coat"

The website reminded me of another website a friend had turned me on to recently, F*ck You, Penguin. (Except A**hole is slightly less funny. IMO.) FU, Penguin is a blog where writer Matthew Gasteier tells lovable animals “what’s what.” Wired magazine writes that the blog is the “ultimate antidote to puppycams.”

Caracals just have to be different

"What are you trying to prove, Caracal? THERE IS A BASIC CAT TEMPLATE THAT YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW."

In May 2009, after years of having the site, Gasteier wrote his blog was being turned into a book. (Villard Books, an imprint of Random House, is the publisher.) But what does this have to do with your baby being lame?

Turns out that in 2007, a blog called Your Baby is Lame was started, and turns out Your Baby is Lame and Your Baby is an A**hole just found out about each other. Just check out the comments on this YBIAA post. Oh and check out this entry on the Your Baby is Lame website.

it's not about a pissing contest between one baby watching blog (*cough* YBIL) and its rip-off (*cough* YBIAA)

"it's not about a pissing contest between one baby watching blog (*cough* YBIL) and its rip-off (*cough* YBIAA)"

*Cough* maybe I should send this *cough* entry to *cough* passive-aggressive notes, titled, *cough*, “When websites get *cough* passive-aggressive. *cough*”

So, what are your thoughts? Is someone right and another wrong? Is your baby lame or an arsehole?

Think We Better Dance Now

What is it about dancing that can usually make even the surliest and jaded of people tap their foot?  Some even end up releasing all their inhibitions. I don’t know the answer but maybe if we talked to this guy at the Sasquatch Festival he could let us know.

Sometimes people dance as a form of protest. Like in Footloose, which — by the way, is being remade with one of the guys from Gossip Girl playing the Kevin Bacon role. This would make me sad if I hadn’t read about the Short Circuit and Poltergeist remakes in progress.

Anyhow I digress, watch these people dance to protest the plight of skinny jeans on our society.

Did you see that guy whiz by in those golden pants? He’s quick. Those people just ambushed the place.

Sometimes dance attacks aren’t so brutal. Take the Sound of Music train station piece done in Belgium. Continue reading

Britney Spears Vs. Crazy

If Chris “Leave Britney Alone” Crocker is the standard in supportful Britney Spears fans, then this guy here, must be his antithesis.

On May 3rd, 2009, Britney Spears played a concert at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. During her performance of the song “Womanizer,” a fan — Kyle King, jumped on stage to try and bust a move with the pop singer.

The first video capturing the encounter was soon posted to gossip sites like TMZ, Perez Hilton, and Oh No They Didn’t (ONTD). Soon after, commenters on ONTD sent a call-out for better video captures. Finally this video was posted.

In it, you can clearly see Britney Spears become terrified when she spots King in front of her on stage. You’d think that would be the end of it. Crazy fan gets on stage; Britney Spears gets scared.

You’d think.

The day after the incident, King posted a “For The Record” video on YouTube to respond to the media and fan reaction about the incident. In the video he says that the incident was “no big deal” and being blown out of proportion by the media (ignore Britney’s reaction for the moment). He also said he would “do it again in 2 seconds.”

For that response, Kyle has earned the ire of many fans and also some LOLs on his MySpace and YouTube accounts. So what say you, is this being blown out of proportion? Or is this guy just a “self-centered narcissistic” sociopath incapable of having an empathetic reaction to someone’s suffering and using his 15 minutes of fame to his gain?

So yeah — what say you?